Colorado Criminal Defense Blog

Menacing sentence deferred for ex-University of Colorado athlete

  • 22
  • August
    2014

Menacing, an action that knowingly instills fear of bodily harm in a victim, may or may not include physical contact. The method used to make someone else afraid can determine the severity of a menacing charge and may lead to charges for additional offenses. For instance, a stalker is likely to experience fewer consequences than someone who brandishes a weapon.

A former football player for the University of Colorado Boulder was arrested last winter at a party. The man allegedly choked a female party guest. Investigators used a Taser to control the ex-athlete when the man attempted to resist arrest and struck and slightly injured a police officer in the process.

DUI proof could upgrade Colorado driver’s assault charge

  • 15
  • August
    2014

Police investigators routinely perform toxicology tests upon drivers following motor vehicle accidents involving serious injuries and deaths. That may not mean intoxication is suspected. Many times, the tests are performed simply to rule out the possibility of a drunk driving accident.

At the same time, law enforcers may not wait for lab test results to consider filing accident-related DUI charges. A Boulder driver who appears impaired or fails a breath test potentially is up against very serious criminal charges.

Deportation worries plague Boulder refugee charged with assault

  • 08
  • August
    2014

Assaults are crimes of violence and therefore, are taken very seriously by Colorado prosecutors and judges. Depending upon the nature of the assault charges, a conviction can mean substantial prison time. The stakes can go even higher for defendants who are not U.S. citizens.

A political refugee from Libya who made international headlines in 2011 was jailed recently after her third Colorado arrest in less than two years. The woman, now 32, was granted U.S. asylum, after telling a group of international reporters she had been raped at a Libyan government security checkpoint. The refugee first lived in Denver and then moved to Boulder, where she ran into trouble with the law.

Boulder man accused of defrauding hospital to get painkillers

  • 01
  • August
    2014

Laws recognize substance addiction can contribute to the commission of a crime. Addiction does not excuse criminal activity although under certain circumstances, Colorado defendants are accepted into drug court programs. The intensive treatment and monitoring program can be an alternative to stiff punishments that fail to address the root of the problem.

Police recently brought charges against a 45-year-old Boulder County man, after hospital officials reported the man used deception to obtain painkillers. The complaint wasn't filed until Boulder Community Health learned the man was on probation for causing a multi-vehicle traffic accident in 2012. The injury accident occurred while the driver was under the influence of medical marijuana.

Boulder County ex-pastor sentenced in teen sex crimes case

  • 25
  • July
    2014

A Colorado defendant accused of a sexual offense can experience rapid, harsh backlash. The public's emotionally-charged response to allegations of sexual misconduct does not wait for proof of wrongdoing or a verdict. A criminal defense lawyer understands the high stakes – damage to reputation and personal and professional relationships.

A former youth pastor at a Boulder County church will spend the next two years in prison for a relationship he once had with a female churchgoer. The victim was 15 when the alleged misconduct began. The ex-youth pastor, now 35, is the son of the Vinelife Church's senior pastor.

Felony charges dropped in sensitive Colorado DUI fatality case

  • 18
  • July
    2014

The public -- not a jury -- is often the first to issue a judgment on whether a Boulder criminal defendant is guilty. Emotional responses can overlook facts. Those responses, however popular, may not exceed the boundaries of the law.

The district attorney in Colorado's 14th Judicial District recently wrote about a sensitive DUI case. The prosecutor explained why he chose to drop felony vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges against a man who was driving while intoxicated. The defendant's truck hit a family crossing U.S. Highway 34 in July 2013, killing the father and seriously injuring the man's spouse and two children.

Colorado judge considers venue change in sexual assault case

  • 16
  • July
    2014

The media can stoke a fire that burns a Boulder defendant charged with sexual offenses. Pre-trial screening is designed to prevent juror prejudice. In some high profile sex crime cases, a fair trial is guaranteed only by moving a trial outside a community tainted by preconceived opinions.

A Colorado judge delayed a ruling on a change of venue for the trial of an ex-health care worker, who pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two nursing home residents. The trial recently opened with jury selection involving more than 100 possible candidates. Screening results were expected to help the judge determine whether local jurors could come to a non-prejudiced verdict despite heavy, local media coverage.

Boulder County murder defendant accepts plea deal

  • 09
  • July
    2014

Plea agreements allow courts to avoid the time and expense involved in trying a defendant. A Boulder defendant, facing an uncertain verdict at a criminal trial, may agree to plead guilty, provided prosecutors reduce charges or penalties.

Three Boulder County men were charged with the January murder of a 25-year-old Lafayette man. One defendant, a 58-year-old Berthoud man, recently opted to accept a plea deal. The man was sentenced to a 15-year prison term, after pleading guilty to robbery and accessory to murder offenses.

Prosecutors agreed to drop first-degree murder and two marijuana possession with intent to distribute charges. The remaining defendants, ages 26 and 38, are still facing charges for first-degree murder, aggravated motor vehicle theft and robbery.

33 Colorado DUI cases affected by badly calibrated breath tester

  • 20
  • June
    2014

A criminal case can involve a lot of people a Boulder defendant never sees. A technician in a state lab assesses blood alcohol content levels that determine the fate of Colorado drivers charged with DUI. Criminal defense attorneys know machines and people aren't 100 percent reliable -- results of breath and blood tests can be wrong.

In Weld County, just east of Boulder, attorneys are being notified about a human mistake that may have affected the outcomes of 33 drunk-driving cases. The head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the breath test machine an agency technician used was not faulty. The calibration of the machine was.

Boulder police hobble aggressive woman during assault arrest

  • 13
  • June
    2014

Being approached by a police officer for questioning can be unnerving for anyone. A person may feel accused simply in an officer's presence. Unfortunately, some criminal defendants add to their legal troubles by speaking or acting out against authorities.

Police took a woman into custody, who allegedly assaulted someone taking her picture and became aggressive during her arrest. The 27-year-old defendant was standing with several others behind Boulder high school when a person walking nearby apparently noticed the group was smoking marijuana. The walker started snapping pictures.